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For a Healthy Body – Should I Detox?

For a Healthy Body – Should I Detox?

The start of a New Year brings a chance to start with a clean slate. Lots of diet, exercise and other healthy resolutions often kick off the month of January. This month I’ve had some inquiries about the need or benefits of many of the detox kits on the market.

The term “detox” is thrown around so much today but there is not a standard definition of what “detox” means. Some products claiming to be a detox are nothing more then fiber or laxatives. Others refer to liver or kidney “cleansing” and still others refer to it as removal of heavy metals. Let’s start with a clean slate and define what “detox” means.

There have been hundreds if not thousands of books and articles written on this topic so it’s too large to tackle in detail here, but detoxification typically means getting rid of foreign or toxic elements from our body. The list of toxins is endless ranging from heavy metals like mercury and lead, plastics, herbicides, pesticides, manufacturing chemicals that end up in our food and water, and right down to the simplest of tasks like your bodies removal of natural nitrogen from whole foods.

Everyone is looking for a detox remedy but we all overlook the simple truth. Are we drinking pure water and eating more than 30 grams of natural fiber in our diet?

If not, then first we need to employ these simple, basic and life giving habits. Our bodies have natural detox pathways that work all on their own without assistance provided we give our bodies natural whole foods and plenty of water. Oh yeah, it might also be a good idea to stop poisoning ourselves with pesticides, herbicides, plastics and other man made junk.

The Bowel 
The bowel is probably the most beneficial and simplest place to start. Our bowel function is important for immune system and for the simple absorption of valuable nutrients. A probiotic is a good bacteria that lives in our intestines and is beneficial to our bowel function. This is the first step in proper detoxification.

Ridding the body of yeast overgrowth is a common problem as our diets are full of antibiotics and sugar which facilitate the growth of yeast. Anti-fungal herbs such as Cat’s Claw, a south American vine, reduce bowel inflammation, retard yeast growth and improve our immune response.

Liver & Kidney 
Liver and kidney detoxification can occur in many different ways but one of the simplest is to take a supplement that improves glutathione pools in these valuable detox organs. Eat foods high in cysteine such as meats, eggs, cruciferous vegetables, garlic and red peppers, which is converted to glutathione. Herbs like Milk Thistle are age old remedies that help increase glutathione pools.

Be careful of “detox kits” unless you know what you are buying. Some are good and some are worthless and often times the cost of finding an educated physician to help you is cheaper and 10X’s more effective than guessing with over the counter products.

Again, start with diet and water. Buy organic where you can. Buy a home water filter.

[8 Comments]  [8 Comments] 


8 Responses to “For a Healthy Body – Should I Detox?”
  1. Big Daddie says:

    I recommend a bi-weekly colonic or, alternatively, a weekly trip to Skyline.

    • Dr. Gary Huber says:

      Big Daddie, you rock !!!! That was the first great belly laugh I have had all day. Thanks for your poetic humor. It reminds me of an age old joke regarding White Castles which I can not repeat here in open forum but I grew up here in Cincinnati eating Skylines and White Castles and Aglamesis Bros. ice cream. Good times.

      I trust your colon is clean.
      Dr. Gary Huber

    • Joosh says:


  2. AL123 says:

    Seriously, I’ve heard hot dogs, bacon and other processed meats should basically be eliminated from one’s diet. I do okay on this except for pepperoni on pizza, and the occasional trip to Skyline. If I have a good amount of fiber in my diet, am not overweight and am otherwise healthy, can I enjoy a couple of coneys every couple of weeks?

    • Dr. Gary Huber says:

      Hi Al, (1 and 2 and 3)
      Life is to be lived and enjoyed. Perfect is boring and often requires psychiatric medication. So please go enjoy a coney every couple of weeks. (keep this a secret but I had a cup of ice cream last night). It’s what you do 85% of the time that counts. We work hard and eat clean so that on “occasion” we can enjoy some sinful treats. It’s when those foods become a three times a week item that they cease to be treats and become a staple that gets us into trouble.

      My problem is that if I walk into Skyline, one of you will catch a quick photo and post it online as “caught in the act”.

      Dr. Gary Huber

  3. CincyCapell says:

    My gastroenterologist says that liver detoxes are pure BS.

    • Dr. Gary Huber says:

      Your gastroenterologist knows crap when he sees it. Get it . . . he sees crap . . . it’s colonoscopy humor. But you are right. I had this discussion with another doctor the other day when I was asked about liver detox. The liver is your body’s garbage disposal. It takes the junk, the chemicals, the toxins and all the unwanted nasty out of the body and send it down the pipe for disposal. You can’t detox it because thats it job. It’s a detox factory. But what you can do is give it the materials it needs to help keep it efficient. These materials are healthy foods that contain glutamine, glycine and cysteine which are the three ingredients for your liver to make “glutathione” which is the master antioxidant of the body. This is where fermented garlic extracts and things like Milk Thistle can help for those struggling under the burden of hepatitis, alcohol abuse or toxic drug exposure. For most of us, all we need to do is eat healthy vegetables and we will give our liver all the good phytochemicals it needs to hoist the bad chemicals out of of our bodies.

      Have some broccoli,
      Dr. Gary Huber

  4. future ND says:

    A friend just sent me this link which is funny because I just got out of a lecture on liver detoxification. I’m a naturopathic medical student (and Cincinnati native) and we talk a lot about the liver. I agree that for the most part detoxing is not necessary- eating whole foods is much more important than some over the counter product that may or may not safe and efficacious. I wholeheartedly agree that finding an educated practitioner is the way to go!

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